In just the last couple of decades medical researchers have taken an interest in studying the gut and its link to mood, mental health, skin conditions, the immune system, and cancer just to name a few. Here are a couple of signs that you need to improve your gut health, and here’s how to do it!
Your Gut Microbiome
If you keep up with the latest health trends, you’ve probably heard the term “gut microbiome” thrown around. Your gut microbiome is the population of microbes in the intestine which are unique to each individual.
The gastrointestinal microbiota (gut flora, gut microbiota) are the microorganisms including bacteria that live in the digestive tract. There are trillions of these microorganisms that live in our gut and they are responsible for tons of different bodily functions including keeping our immune system healthy and aiding in digestion.
There is increasing research that shows how the gut microbiome plays a role in not only human health and disease but also in weight loss. Scientists are finding that our unique makeup of our gut microbiome affects what you’re able to extract from your diet on both a nutritional and energetic level thus explaining why certain diets might work for one person but not for another. 1,2,3
Keeping your gut healthy can boost your immune system, combat obesity, and even help your mood.
There are a few signs that you may need to work to improve your gut health. It’s not just your diet that can contribute to it– taking antibiotics, not getting a good sleep, or having high stress levels all are potential reasons why your gut health is suffering.
An easy way to tell if your gut is unhealthy is if you routinely experience an upset stomach. This can include gas, diarrhea, heartburn, bloating, or constipation. A healthy gut should have an easier time digesting food after eating.
Autoimmune conditions are another sign of an unhealthy gut. As research has shown, the gut has a huge impact on the immune system.4
One other sign is if you are experiencing any food intolerances. By food intolerance, I mean that you just have difficulty digesting certain foods rather than an allergy which is an immune system reaction. Poor quality of bacteria in your gut could be a key contributor to this. If you notice key stomach symptoms after digesting specific foods, it may just be poor gut health.
Better Gut Health
1. Increase Your Intake of Prebiotic Foods
The good bacteria in your gut need fuel! They get them from prebiotics, which are fiber and complex carbs that human cells can’t digest. The most nutritious way to get prebiotics into your diet is by eating tons of veggies and other high fiber foods like legumes and fruit.
To remove lectins, the legumes should be soaked overnight and then cooked in a pressure cooker.
Low sugar fruits that are high in pre-biotics include mangos, papayas, avocados, and watermelons.
If you want a delicious and quick snack, you can also eat MariGold products that contain chicory root fiber are a good source of pre-biotics. These include Lemon Coconut Fat Bombs, Ginger Coconut Protein Bars, Fudge Brownie Fat Bombs, Espresso Protein Bars, Keto Pecans, Chocolate Cashew Crunch snacks, and more.
While the best way is to start eating those greens, you can also easily find prebiotic supplements online or at your local vitamin store. Not only do these prebiotics promote the growth of good bacteria, but studies have shown that they are successful in lowering metabolic syndrome risk factors in obese individuals.5,6
2. Switch it Up
Diverse means healthy. The more healthy bacteria you introduce into your gut, the more potential health benefits. The only way to do this is by stepping away from your normal go-to foods and start eating a wide range of different fruits and veggies.
As one study puts it, “A healthy gastrointestinal microbiome is dependent on dietary diversity.”7 Western nations tend to lack dietary diversity, while rural regions are often rich in different types of plant sources.
Always try to keep your eye out for something new to try. Not only is it great for your gut, but it also make dinner way more interesting!
3. Add Probiotics to Your Diet
Unlike prebiotics, which are used as fuel for the microorganisms in your gut, probiotics are actually live microorganisms that you can consume. These microorganisms improve and restore your gut microbiota.
The easiest way to add probiotics to your diet is through fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, or kombucha. Studies are showing that by adding yogurt to your diet, you can reduce the symptoms of lactose intolerance!8
While your diet obviously plays an important role on your gut health, it’s also important to just take care of your wellbeing in order to improve your gut health. Be sure to get enough sleep, stay hydrated, and do your best to live a stress free life!